Architect Tadao Ando: Master of Paradox

Architect Tadao Ando:  Master of Paradox

Bert Daelemans, SJ

One of the most influential architects today is the autodidact Tadao Ando (1941, Osaka). A master of paradox, his work combines simplicity and mystery, globalization and roots, dead matter and personality, rationality and nature.

The chapels designed by Ando, before being defined by their liturgical function as explicitly religious buildings, are inherently religious for their contemplative atmosphere. In his buildings, he incorporates a cross, not as a representative sign that we can decipher, but as a meaningful symbol that is open to interpretation. In a specific architectonic way, he extends the original Christian meaning of the cross to give it a universal significance.

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